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Firewall: Everything You Need to Know and Avoid

By September 14, 2020September 11th, 2023No Comments

A firewall is the first line of defense that your company can employ against threats. Cybersecurity experts recommend that every company should have a robust plan in place, including a firewall. But there are now many different kinds of firewalls, as technology has evolved. If you select the wrong type, you could make your company vulnerable to all types of attacks.

Here’s what you need to know about firewalls and managed firewall options.

All About Firewall

A firewall is either a hardware or software. It not only protects you from undesirable incoming traffic, but its filters let the approved data packets in. It’s a very complex system of approving or rejecting data packets based on the information or clues they contain about security. Administrators typically keep an eye on firewalls and are responsible for updating them. Managed firewall services can be a smart way to implement the best firewalls and get help managing them.

Types of Firewall

Packet-Filtering Firewall: The data packets coming through the router passes through a simple check performed by this firewall. Details like IP address, packet type, port number, etc. are inspected, and if the packet doesn’t pass the inspection, it is dropped. Packet-Filtering Firewalls are very resource-intensive but relatively easy to bypass.

Circuit-Level Gateways: This firewall checks the Transmission control protocol (TCP) to ensure the data packet is from a legitimate source, but these firewalls don’t inspect the actual data packet. If the packet contains malware but is form a trusted source, the firewall will let it pass. Hence, this firewall is not recommended to protect your business.

Stateful Inspection Firewall: This firewall is a combination of the first two types, which means it verifies the TCP handshake as well as the actual data packet, ensuring greater protection levels.

Application-Level Gateway/Proxy Firewall: This firewall operates at the application layer to filter incoming traffic between your network and the traffic source. Rather than letting traffic connect directly, the proxy firewall first establishes a connection to traffic source and inspects the incoming data packet. Apart from verifying the TCP handshake and inspecting the data packet details, this firewall performs a deeper scan to ensure the packet contains no malware.

Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW): This firewall gives the highest levels of protection. Some common features of this firewall architecture include deep-packet inspection (checking the actual contents of the data packet), TCP handshake checks, and surface-level packet inspection. These are cutting edge services that help you block out modern malware while detecting threats. The best options have highly intelligent and automated services to protect your company. You can find a managed firewall service provider to implement these for your business.

Why Do You Need Firewalls

Just like you’d never ride a motorcycle without a helmet, firewalls are essential protection for any modern business. Without firewalls, your business is open to threats.

Two main reasons why you need a firewall is:

1. to manage and control outbound traffic from your network, and

2. to protect you against threats like:

  • Unauthorized user logging in remotely and stealing information,
  • Email session hijacking,
  • Application and operating system backdoor vulnerabilities,
  • Disruptive attack on servers,
  • Malicious Macros, and
  • Viruses.

It would be best to customize the filters of your firewalls as per your business needs to prevent data breaches and cyber-attacks. Data breaches are costly and reduce customer confidence.

Firewall Rules

Firewall rules determine what kind of traffic is permitted or blocked on the internet. There is a predefined set of firewall rules for each firewall profile, which you cannot change. While some profiles allow you to add new rules, some other profiles may not allow you to add new rules at all. There may also be some profiles with no predefined rules. So, you can add as many new rules as you want. Firewall rules can be applied to inbound and outbound traffic from both directions at the same time.

Don’t wait to protect your business from cyber-attacks. Even small companies are vulnerable to outside threats. Managed Firewall services can help you establish the right firewalls for your business.